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Emotions Flare At SF Town Hall Following Police Shooting Of Mentally-Ill Man

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- New details emerged Thursday night about an officer-involved shooting in San Francisco's Oceanview District Friday morning that left an unarmed, mentally ill man injured and his family claiming the officers' actions were to blame.

At a crowded and at times heated and emotional town hall meeting in the Minnie and Lovie Ward Recreation Center on Capitol Avenue, within view of the home where the shooting took place, police officials described the events that led up the wounding of 40-year-old Sean Moore, a black man who, according to his family, suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Just before 4 a.m. on Friday, San Francisco police officers responded to the 500 block of Capitol Avenue to investigate an incident in which Moore, who is the subject of a restraining order requested by his neighbor, was apparently banging on a wall inside his own home, according to police.

When the officers arrived they tried to calm Moore, who they say was angry and combative, but was behind a locked gate at the entrance to his home.

After about 15 minutes, Moore allegedly came out from behind the gate and grabbed the restraining order paperwork from one of the officers, who then used pepper spray on him, according to police officials.

Moore then allegedly kicked one of the officers in the face and retreated back into the house, according to police.

Within seconds, police said Moore then came back out of the house, threw the paperwork onto the stairs leading to the sidewalk and was struck with a baton by one of the officers as both moved to arrest him.

Moore, who is described as a large man, allegedly punched one of the officers in the face at that point and was advancing on the other officer, who then shot him twice, police said.

He then retreated back into the house and refused to come out, but was able to dial 911 and request medical help, police said.

According to the police timeline, Moore was shot at about 4:25 a.m. and by 5:45 a.m. a tactical team of officers was able to force entry to the home, arrest Moore and get him into an ambulance that drove him to San Francisco General Hospital.

Both officers were wearing body cameras at the time, but police have yet to release the footage, and Moore has yet to be interviewed by investigators, police said Thursday night.

Moore's family and the activist group the Anti Police-Terror Project dispute the police version of events and said in a press release that he was just taking out the trash when he was approached by the officers.

They claim police were aware of his mental health status from previous encounters with him and it was the officers, not Moore, who escalated the encounter that led to the "unnecessary shooting."

"I don't believe he deserved to be shot for knocking on the wall in his own home," Moore's mother, Cleo Moore, told the high-ranking police officials who attended the town hall meeting tonight.

"If they couldn't handle the situation, they should have called crisis intervention," said Cleo Moore, a nurse who worked for 40 years at the same hospital where her son now lays in the intensive care unit.

Many speakers at the meeting echoed the same sentiment, including Moore's brother, Ken Blackmon, who works for the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department, and Betty Mackey of The Anti Police-Terror Project.

"How is it that your officer struck someone on the steps of their own house and you expect them not to defend themselves," Mackey asked during the meeting. "And if your officers felt so threatened by this man in front of his own home with a record of mental health issues, why didn't they call for back up instead of pulling out their weapon and discharging it?"

Interim San Francisco Police Chief Toney Chaplin told Mackey that "Maybe you missed the part where one of the officers was kicked in the face."

"I need to see the video, I don't believe you," Mackey replied.

Moore is facing several felony charges related to the alleged assault on the officers.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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